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“Dads are such a universal, emotional thing for people, whether you have a good or bad relationship with your father, or no father in your life,” Gray says.
“I think we all have really complex emotions toward [them].”She also thinks there’s a particular appeal for millennials who are accustomed to dating less … “A daddy isn’t going to forget their wallet,” Gray says.
It’s a subversion of dating sims that is not just the best dating sim I’ve ever played but also one of the best games of the year.
At first glance, the game's romantic roster looks like a who’s who of sexy stereotypes: the bad boy, the jock, the sensitive artist, the clean-cut hunk.
And yet, this presumed lack of empathy or imagination hasn’t stopped lots of people outside the LGBT community from playing and helping make it a hit.“This is a very queer game, but it has legs longer than what a lot of people might have considered niche,” Gray says.Leighton Gray, a 19-year-old student at the Savannah College of Art and Design who created, cowrote, and art-directed , is queer herself; when she and cowriter Vernon Shaw sat down to develop the game, she says, defying stereotypes was at the forefront of their minds: “We wanted to set up expectations and knock them down.”Those complex characterizations not only make the story far more interesting, they render obsolete the usual rules of dating sims.For all of the genre's seeming emphasis on romance, dating sims often contain a reductively transactional notion of love and sex, relying on a mechanic that independent game developer Arden once described as “kindness coins”: Put enough compliments or gifts into the object of your affection and receive sex in return.The game and the community surrounding the game was so positive and loving that it encouraged them to be themselves.”'s success belies a long-held assumption of the mainstream gaming world: that making games about LGBT people is an inherently niche endeavor, one that limits your potential audience and sales.While the industry has taken marginal steps toward inclusion, queer characters still tend to crop up as sidekicks and subplots rather than as protagonists.